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Authors: Wells, Thomas Clarke
Date: April 1, 1855
Born and raised in Rhode Island, twenty-three-year-old Thomas C. Wells apparently was a reluctant Kansas immigrant; his initial ambivalence was reflected in his first letter from Providence, RI, March 12, 1855, where he wrote: "I may yet see it best to return [home from Boston] and not go [to Kansas] at all." This, Clarke's first letter from "the far famed Kanzas Territory," was written from Topeka, but describes the journey from the boarder via Lawrence and reported is intention to "start for Big Blue, where Mr. Goodnow is tomorrow." Part of the journey was made in the company of some well-armed Missourians "who were going to Lawrence to vote," presumably in the March 30 legislative election. All Clarke's extensive correspondence from KT (March 24, 1855 to October 19, 1860) was published in 1936 in the KHQ and is now available digitally at http://www.kshs.org/library/khq/1936/36_2_wells.htm.
Keywords: Big Blue, Kansas Territory; Border ruffians; Elections; Goodnow, Isaac T., 1814-1894; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Manhattan, Kansas Territory; Missourians; Page's Hotel; Shawnee Indians; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Wells, Thomas Clarke; Westport, Missouri
Letter, Marc [Parrott] to Dear Edd [Edwin A. Parrott]
Authors: Parrott, Marcus J., 1828-1879
Date: June 11, 1855
Marcus J. Parrott wrote from the Shawnee Methodist Mission in Kansas Territory to his brother, Edwin A. Parrott, in Dayton, Ohio. Marcus reported to Edwin that he was in need of money, and told him of his plan to borrow some from their father to invest. He expressed his support for the free state cause, but disagreed with recent violent acts that had occurred on the part of a free state man. Marcus also referred to the Territorial Legislature, which would convene at Pawnee, and anticipated "a grand row and smash up as a result".
Keywords: Free state perspective; Johnson County, Kansas Territory; Kansas Territory. Legislature - Pawnee/Shawnee Mission; Parrott, Edwin A.; Parrott, Marcus J., 1828-1879; Pawnee, Kansas Territory; Shawnee Indians; Weston, Missouri; Westport, Missouri
Letter, W. E. G. [William Goodnow] to My Dear Wife [Harriet Goodnow]
Authors: Goodnow, William E.
Date: November 22, 1855
William Goodnow, recently arrived in Shannon, Kansas Territory, wrote to his wife, Harriet, who had remained in New England. Goodnow related his experiences traveling from Westport, Missouri, where he received quality hospitality from a slaveholder, to Lawrence, and finally to Shannon, where he met his brother, Isaac, and sister-in law. Goodnow also mentioned his recent subscription to the Herald of Freedom newspaper, which would be sent to her; he implored her to save all of them, as he wished them preserved. He added that they expected a rush of emigrants in the following spring.
Keywords: Goodnow, Harriet; Goodnow, Isaac T., 1814-1894; Goodnow, William E.; Herald of Freedom; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Riley County, Kansas Territory; Shannon, Kansas Territory; Slaveholders; Travel; Westport, Missouri
Slave Bill of Sale, Thomas Johnson
Authors: Burge, David
Date: May 24, 1856
A bill of sale issued by David Burge to Thomas Johnson as a receipt for Johnson's purchase of an African American slave named Martha for $800. Thomas Johnson was a Methodist minister and the founder of the Shawnee Methodist Mission. Johnson County, Kansas Territory was named for Thomas Johnson.
Keywords: African Americans; Bills of sale; Burge, David; Johnson, Thomas; Slave bills of sale; Slaveholders; Slavery; Slaves; Westport, Missouri
Letter, S. P. Hanscom to Mrs. Sara T. D. Robinson
Authors: Hanscom, S. P.
Date: May 25, 1856
On Sunday, May 25, 1856, "at the request of Gov. Robinson," S. P. Hanscom wrote Sara Robinson to assure her that her "esteemed and gallant husband" was well. This remarkably detailed letter describes the governor's captivity, the bogus charges filed against him, and circumstances that brought him to Leavenworth. Hanscom found that Robinson was receiving many visitors, including Congressman William A. Howard, chair of the congressional committee investigating Kansas troubles.
Keywords: Atchison, David Rice, 1807-1886; Bogus laws; Border ruffians; Brown, John, Jr.; Free state cause; Hanscom, S. P.; Howard Committee (see also Congressional Report 200); Howard, William Alanson; Jones, Samuel J. (Sheriff); Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Lecompte, Samuel D. (Samuel Dexter), 1814-1888; Martin, John W.; Preston, Colonel; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Robinson, Sara T. L. (Sara Tappan Lawrence), 1827-1911; Sack of Lawrence, May 1856; Shannon, Wilson, 1802-1877; Stringfellow, John H.; Sumner, Edwin Vose, 1835-1912; Treason; Westport, Missouri
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